16 June, 2012

Fathers and History

My Grandfather, Max Klahn, is the young boy pictured @ the top right. See a story about him below. Next to him at his left are Henry, my Great Grandfather and Charlotte, my Great Grandmother. Location: Quillayute Prairie, WA. Date: 1895. This remote place is about the rainiest spot in the US, and less than 5 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. And we love it there.

Father's Day is a time that I choose to remember my fore-bearers.  

Grandpa Max and Grandma Anna homesteaded in the land that time forgot, the Olympic Peninsula.  Think Twilight, only without the amenities.  By no amenities, I mean no electricity.  Did I mention no road, either?  Max hiked the Olympic beach to get to work during the Great Depression, which was a hundred miles plus a little.  The Indians rafted him across the rivers he couldn't ford.  He worked in the logging and port towns of Hoquiam and Aberdeen.

Max and Anna had 13 children, and the seven brothers all went off to war.  My father, Kenneth K. Klahn, saw heavy combat in Italy, as a member of the famous Tenth Mountain Division, US Army.  

Together with my maternal grandfather, my father, brother and I worked in the woods when I was four years old.  Did I say I worked?  Of course, I played.

Today, we honor my father-in-law who passed away Thursday.  He was a wheat farmer, and a WW II veteran.  He could outwork five oversized men half his age, and feed the world while he was at it.  You cannot replace him, which is a fact.

Father's Day is Sunday.  A local point of pride is the fact that Father's Day was invented in 1910, in Spokane, WA,  by Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd.  It is good to remember our fathers.


Unknown said...

I'm sorry to hear of the passing of your father in law. I hope this Fathers Day can be about peace and remembrance. Happy Father's Day to you my friend...

Sarah Bachhuber Peroutka said...

Thank you for sharing a bit of your family history. Your strong ties to the land and place of your ancestors is often reflected in your paintings, and your emotional connection helps make your work so compelling.

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks, Maryann.

Thanks, Sarah.

Both of your comments are dear to me.

Celeste Bergin said...

Great post!
Your ancestors would be proud to know that you are so dedicated to the beauty that surrounds us.

Casey Klahn said...

Thank you, Celeste.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your father in law, I hope your family has been sharing precious memories together and finding comfort in each other's love. I love the black and white photo, especially with the crease in the middle! That's so precious!

Casey Klahn said...

Thank you very much, Katherine, for the kind words.

I tried the tape-remover tool in Photoshop, and that was fine, but I got completely mired in trying to patch the other flaws, and gave up. My grandfather Max is very much admired in my family, because his story is so great.

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